Rector’s Update: The Clergy Development Program
It was so good to be with you last Sunday and to have the opportunity to preach God’s word. I have been captivated by the description of manna which I shared with you in the midst of the sermon: “…the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.” (Exodus 16:31b)
Dr. Douglas Stuart wrote this, “In ancient times the refining of sugar had not been invented, and the only means of sweetening foods was to add either fruit compounds or honey to them. Honey is far sweeter than dried, crushed, or minced fruit, and was the apex of ancient flavoring. Few Israelites ever had the luxury of making wafers (in effect, thin cookies) instead of bread, and honey was rare enough (since it had to be found in the wild). [Thus] describing manna as ‘like wafers made with honey’ was tantamount to saying that it was ‘the most delicious food imaginable.”
That. ‘The most delicious food imaginable.’
Honestly, I have always thought that manna probably tasted like cardboard– that Israel survived for 40 years on it, but they didn’t like it. But, if it was the best thing they had ever tasted, can you imagine each morning? “LET’S GET UP AND GET SOME MANNA! YEE-HAW!” It’s delicious! And it’s just… there. Ready. Waiting for us. As much as we can eat today.
This idea of manna being delicious has now infiltrated all of my thinking about grace and how God provides and what it means to be kept by Him and to follow Him. I want to keep going on this adventure of abundant provision. Because the stuff (manna) God gives is way better than what I can scrounge up on my own. It’s the most delicious thing imaginable. Thanks be to God.
The Restoration Clergy Development Program
At the end of June, I wrote to you about our new Clergy Development Program. You can read about it, here. I invited you to give and you have been extravagant in your generosity. During the timeframe that we opened giving, you contributed $103,908.50.
Because of your gifts, we can start the program as scheduled. The budget for our first year is covered and we have seed money to hold for year two. Thank you for your vision of Restoration as a place where clergy are developed and sent for the fruitfulness of the church and the glory of God’s Kingdom.
The 2021-2022 RCDP Participant
We had a good response of applicants for the program and it gives me great joy to introduce you to the person we chose to be the inaugural participant: Chris Lugo.
See picture above of Chris, his wife, Katie, and their 2 daughters, Karis and Sophia.
Chris is an ordinand in the Diocese of Christ our Hope. Lord willing, he will be ordained by Bishop Steve Breedlove to the transitional diaconate in September. Currently, Chris is serving at Church of the Ascension in Annandale. He has been in full-time ministry for over 10 years in the Northern Virginia area. We are honored by the opportunity to invest in him during his year of ordination and training.
Chris will start the program on September 7th and you will see him at Resto on Sunday, September 12th. He will be serving on our Alpha team this fall and leading a small group. Don’t be surprised if he invites you to lunch or coffee. I have told him about the wonderful stories, experience, and wisdom that are found in the people of Restoration and he looks forward to getting to know you.
The Restoration Clergy Development Program runs annually from summer to summer. We hope to move Chris from ordinand to deacon to priest and to help him discern the church context where he will serve next. It is a joy and a privilege to have the opportunity to invest in someone’s vocational development… and then to send them out to do it.
Thank you for giving to this program.
Please join me in welcoming Chris, Katie, Karis, and Sophia.
This Sunday, I will preach from Exodus 17 and 18. Moses learns that he can’t do it alone and the value of sharing the load. It seems like an appropriate lesson as we launch this program.
See you soon!